On a breezy day in mid-April, a quiet and empty building on East Pembroke Avenue in Hampton slowly filled with the sounds of new life. For the first time, there is a Boys & Girls Club to serve the youth in the Buckroe community. After ending our thrift store project we saw potential for another club in the city of Hampton. It is the perfect opportunity to serve more of the kids who need us most.
Our staff members' hard work has paid off because last Monday we held our grand opening ceremony at the Club. We heard from our President & CEO Hal Smith, the current Mayor of Hampton Donnie Tuck, Board Member George Wallace, and Buckroe Unit Director Marc Lattimore. They had many wonderful things to say and thanked Sherwin Williams, Pioneer DJs, and Newport News Shipbuilding in particular for their generosity in transitioning the thrift store to a Club. One of the unique features of the club is the bright and inviting space; staff member Mark Kane says the club “gives the visual sense of walking into a box of Crayola Crayons."
Our Club will hold various programs to engage youth through creative outlets and learning opportunities. The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) program at Buckroe will focus on computer sciences. Club members will also have the opportunity to learn to play musical instruments including keyboard, guitar (electric and/or accoustic), flute, and drums from professional instructors through the Instrumental program. The last unique program to this Club is the Music and Video program, which will educate members on audio and video essential skills to prepare them for success in the multimedia industry. This program will be taught in their Music and Video School Studio, and will be instructed by professional musicians, radio personalities, and music teachers.
Our kids are able to enjoy a computer lab, teen center, music and video school studio, mini reading center, kitchenette, and dining area. The Music and Video School Studio holds keyboards, guitars, drums, a recording booth, ten DJ consoles, and a video editing bay for youth to develop creative skills. Buckroe also has multiple forms of entertainment for the children including pool tables, ice-hockey tables, ping pong tables, foosball tables, an xbox, Wii, and PS3 gaming system. Marc says "It is the goal and passion for this Unit to provide programs, opportunities, volunteers, partnerships, and most importantly dedicated youth development professionals to ensure that all members obtain the optimal Club experience."
The community is just as excited as we are for our new Club opening. The Hampton Police Department dropped by on Tuesday to welcome the kids to their new unit. The Buckroe Unit had 120 pre-enrolled members, and is $25 per member. If you are interested in becoming a member at the Buckroe location, please click here for the membership form! Don't forget to visit the Club in person to complete your registration!
Boys & Girls Clubs